Sunday, November 27, 2005

Bubble Boy Keeps on Bombing

Like the gift that just keeps on giving, Preznit Toad-Exploder's dirty little secret plan to eliminate Al-Jazeera, the free press of the Arab world, just won't go away.

Via the Sydney Morning Herald: OUTRAGE GROWS AT BUSH BOMB CLAIM.

AN executive of Al-Jazeera, the Arabic news channel, is seeking an urgent meeting with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, over reports that George Bush discussed bombing the satellite channel's headquarters in Qatar.

Wadah Khanfar, the station's director-general, is flying to Britain this weekend after newspapers reported the US President made the comments during a meeting with Mr Blair at the White House on April 16 last year.

Mr Bush's alleged comments about bombing Al-Jazeera's building in Doha are reported to be contained in a note of the meeting. The British Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, warned newspapers they could be charged under the Official Secrets Act if they published further material from the note.

In the House of Commons on Thursday, a Liberal Democrat MP, David Heath, said Lord Goldsmith had threatened editors with the Official Secrets Act to prevent government embarrassment rather than protect national security. . .

The White House meeting, in April last year, took place at a time British officials and military commanders were appalled by US tactics in Iraq, particularly the assault on Falluja. Pictures shown on Al-Jazeera of the attack infuriated US generals.

Karma's a bitch. Go cry on Tony's shoulder, why don'tcha, Bubble Boy?

From the original Mirror UK story:

"Al-Jazeera infuriated Washington and London by reporting from behind rebel lines and broadcasting pictures of dead soldiers, private contractors and Iraqi victims.

The station, watched by millions, has also been used by bin Laden and al-Qaeda to broadcast atrocities and to threaten the West.

Al-Jazeera's HQ is in the business district of Qatar's capital, Doha.

Its single-storey buildings would have made an easy target for bombers. As it is sited away from residential areas, and more than 10 miles from the US's desert base in Qatar, there would have been no danger of "collateral damage".

Dozens of al-Jazeera staff at the HQ are not, as many believe, Islamic fanatics. Instead, most are respected and highly trained technicians and journalists.

To have wiped them out would have been equivalent to bombing the BBC in London and the most spectacular foreign policy disaster since the Iraq War itself.

The No 10 memo now raises fresh doubts over US claims that previous attacks against al-Jazeera staff were military errors."

Military errors? As in "oops, so sorry we bombed you"?

Say, Bush's wish mirrors that of Taliban Rightist Ann Coulter, hoping that the not-even-liberal media sheep medium, the New York Times, had been destroyed on 9/11?

What is the Taliban Right's problem with freedom of speech? What was Bush's deep obsession with Al-Jazeera all about?

Check out Don't Bomb Us, a new blog by three al-Jazeera staffers.

In a related story of dirty laundry finally coming to light via the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH link above):

The CIA has been accused of flying terrorist suspects through US air bases in Germany without informing the German Government. Handelsblatt newspaper, citing a CIA source, referred to the Ramstein base and the Rhein-Main base near Frankfurt.

There may be difficult
ramifications for the US.

The issue could have serious consequences for both Washington and European countries. If such prisons are found in EU territory, they would likely violate European conventions on human rights. If they exist in countries such as Romania, they could threaten its application to the EU.

The matter could also call into question European participation in the war on terror. For example, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot recently told his country's parliament that the existence of such prisons in Europe would have "consequences" for Dutch military operations in Afghanistan.

The CIA source told Handelsblatt that the discovery of CIA practices was "very painful" for employees. Another US government official said that the US plans to answer European concerns soon. And a top US official on Wednesday acknowledged mounting EU pressure for Washington to come clean about reports of secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe while stressing his country's right to protect itself against terrorists.

"Very painful," you say?

Painful as in waterboarding?

Painful as in hanging people up by their limbs?

Just how painful?


Thursday, November 24, 2005

New England Thanksgiving, Tibetan Buddhist-Style

Patches of grey-blue clouds, rainy wintry sky. Dusky red and brown trees, fog over the marsh. Eighteen mourning doves under the holly tree, red-breasted nuthatch, white-breasted nuthatch, cardinals, finches, downy woodpeckers feasting on sunflower seeds and suet cakes. One majestic northern flicker, yellow-tailed.

We're inside with the new puppy, cooking, cleaning, preparing, polishing, waiting. St. Matthew's Passion playing in the background, puppy doing ok with it so far (she howls at some sopranos and Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders).

Mantras offered on behalf of all sentient beings deceased in the making of this food: turkey, insects disrupted by growing and harvesting of celery, onions, herbs for Bell's Seasoning. Thanks to pig for the salt pork in the stuffing. Squash, green beans, Yukon Gold potatoes, russet potatoes, carrots. Wine. Pumpkin pie.

Nice article on Thanksgiving graces in the NY Times.

Today's grace to come:

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.

May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.

May all beings never be apart from the great happiness free from suffering.

May all beings remain in the great equanimity of mind
free from passion, aggression and ignorance.

That means you, too, George.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Blair: NOT the Preznit's Poodle--His P.O.!

So, gee, it turns out that British Prime Minister Tony Blair wasn't Preznit Toad-Exploder's Poodle after all!

Tony's job was to serve as Parole Officer for our youthful offender, trying to keep Bubble Boy from getting into trouble yet again.

Heads are rolling and politicians being charged in Great Britain as the Blair government tries to get this sticky, cranky, white-hot toothpaste back into its tube again: Preznit Toad-Exploder had a hankering to bomb Al-Jazeera to smithereens!!

Information leaked to the Daily Mirror asserts the existence of a memo "hugely damaging to Bush." The British government has already forbidden the Mirror to publish more, fearing revelations to come that may prove even more embarrassing.

From the Mirror:

"[Bush] made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

"There's no doubt what Bush wanted to do -- and no doubt Blair didn't want him to do it."

Another source said: "Bush was deadly serious, as was Blair. That much is absolutely clear from the language used by both men."

One can only wonder in shock and awe what other Toad-Exploder catastrophes Blair narrowly averted . . .

Poor Tony, staying up late into the nights, pleading, "No, no, you mustn't nuke the Polar Ice Caps, George. You can't have Teddy Kennedy disappeared. Or George Soros. Or anyone. No, you may not pave the Euphrates. Can you put on Laura?"

"Laura, darling, please, would you be so good as to slip him another Mickey? I'm afraid George is wilding again."

More Anti-Christian Christmas Messages from the Taliban Right

Falwell, Dobson, Robertson. Why are these people leading anyone, much less being seen as leaders of practicing Christians?

Dobson's a confirmed dog-beater and toddler whipper; Robertson lies and advocates assassination, not to mention peppering his broadcasts with occult Satanic hand signals (see devil's horn gesture, above; to vote on whether Robertson is Satan OR the Anti-Christ, see: A WHOLE LOTTA SMITIN' GOIN' ON, below) and now Falwell comes up with his joyful Christmas holiday "Friend or Foe Campaign".

So Falwell's another Sunday School dropout, hunh?

"Friend or Foe"?

Good God.

Did he white-out this paragraph from his dog-eared copy of the Gospel?

"There is a saying, 'Love your friends and hate your enemies.' But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too.

If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (TLB, Matthew 5:43-48)

Like the unselfish Samaritan man of Jesus' parable, we are called to extend our love and concern to all persons everywhere, as our neighbors. We should not exclude anyone or any group because of social status, a supposed character fault, religious difference, racial difference, ethnic difference, citizenship difference, etc."

Falwell, Dobson, Robertson, all these Satanic pseudo-Christian miscreants deserve to have their noses rubbed in the actual teachings of Jesus.

When will their misled followers awaken?

Gay Priests? God Forbid!

One would think that celibacy is celibacy, regardless of sexual orientation, that not having sex means just not having sex, regardless of which sort of sex one is not having.

But no. The Vatican now forbids gay male seminarians.

The Vatican is toughening its stand against gay candidates for the priesthood, specifying in a new document that even men with "transitory" homosexual tendencies must overcome their urges for at least three years before entering the clergy.

A long-awaited "Instruction," due to be released next week, was posted Tuesday on the Internet by the Italian Catholic news agency Adista. A church official who has read the document confirmed its authenticity; he asked that his name not be used because the piece has not been published by the Vatican.

Conservative Roman Catholics who have decried the "gay subculture" in seminaries will likely applaud the policy because it clarifies what the Vatican expects of seminarians and their administrators.

Disallowing pedophiles from the priesthood would have been more to the point, would it not?


Sunday, November 20, 2005


Sorry, I must have missed something.

We were the Good Guys back in the Clinton years, were we not? You remember, the years of peace and prosperity? As opposed to war and poverty? Way way back when?

We're wearing the Black Hats now, in case anyone has failed to notice.

British-trained police in Iraq 'KILLED PRISONERS WITH DRILLS'

By Francis Elliott, Raymond Whitaker and Kim Sengupta

20 November 2005

Britain has been dragged into the growing scandal of officially condoned killings in Iraq

British-trained police operating in Basra have tortured at least two civilians to death with electric drills, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

John Reid, the Secretary of State for Defence, admits that he knows of "alleged deaths in custody" and other "serious prisoner abuse" at al-Jamiyat police station, which was reopened by Britain after the war.

Militia-dominated police, who were recruited by Britain, are believed to have tortured at least two men to death in the station. Their bodies were later found with drill holes to their arms, legs and skulls.

The victims were suspected of collaborating with coalition forces, according to intelligence reports. Despite being pressed "very hard" by Britain, however, the Iraqi authorities in Basra are failing to even investigate incidents of torture and murder by police, ministers admit.

The disclosure drags Britain firmly into the growing scandal of officially condoned killings, torture and disappearances in Iraq. More than 170 starving and tortured prisoners were discovered last week in an Interior Ministry bunker in Baghdad.

American troops who uncovered the secret torture chamber are also said to have discovered mutilated corpses, several bearing drill marks.

Adam Price, the Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, who uncovered the death at al-Jamiyat police station, called for an immediate UN investigation into police torture. "The Government keeps on saying that respect for human rights is a pre-condition of withdrawal. Well, it should be a pre-condition for UK soldiers to continue risking their lives in Iraq," he said.

Mr Reid said: "I am aware of serious allegations of prisoner abuse at the Jamiyat, including two deaths in custody. We take this very seriously. We have been pressing the Iraqi authorities very hard to investigate these allegations thoroughly and then to take the appropriate action."

Ministry of Defence sources privately confirm that the two SAS soldiers seized and held in Jamiyat in September were investigating allegations of police torture prompted by the discovery of the bodies.

British forces in armoured vehicles smashed their way into the station to rescue them, but officers have admitted they are powerless to protect civilians in southern Iraq from militias, and military patrols have been withdrawn from central Basra in the wake of the September clashes.

In the US-controlled districts of Iraq, some senior military and intelligence officials have been accused of giving tacit approval to the extra-judicial actions of counter-insurgency forces.

Critics claim the situation echoes American collaboration with military regimes in Latin America and south-east Asia during the Cold War, particularly in Vietnam, where US-trained paramilitaries were used to kill opponents of the South Vietnamese government.
British-trained police in Iraq 'killed prisoners with drills' Britain has been dragged into the growing scandal of officially condoned killings in Iraq

British-trained police operating in Basra have tortured at least two civilians to death with electric drills, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

John Reid, the Secretary of State for Defence, admits that he knows of "alleged deaths in custody" and other "serious prisoner abuse" at al-Jamiyat police station, which was reopened by Britain after the war.

Militia-dominated police, who were recruited by Britain, are believed to have tortured at least two men to death in the station. Their bodies were later found with drill holes to their arms, legs and skulls.

The victims were suspected of collaborating with coalition forces, according to intelligence reports. Despite being pressed "very hard" by Britain, however, the Iraqi authorities in Basra are failing to even investigate incidents of torture and murder by police, ministers admit.

The disclosure drags Britain firmly into the growing scandal of officially condoned killings, torture and disappearances in Iraq. More than 170 starving and tortured prisoners were discovered last week in an Interior Ministry bunker in Baghdad.

American troops who uncovered the secret torture chamber are also said to have discovered mutilated corpses, several bearing drill marks.

Adam Price, the Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, who uncovered the death at al-Jamiyat police station, called for an immediate UN investigation into police torture. "The Government keeps on saying that respect for human rights is a pre-condition of withdrawal. Well, it should be a pre-condition for UK soldiers to continue risking their lives in Iraq," he said.

Mr Reid said: "I am aware of serious allegations of prisoner abuse at the Jamiyat, including two deaths in custody. We take this very seriously. We have been pressing the Iraqi authorities very hard to investigate these allegations thoroughly and then to take the appropriate action."

Ministry of Defence sources privately confirm that the two SAS soldiers seized and held in Jamiyat in September were investigating allegations of police torture prompted by the discovery of the bodies.

British forces in armoured vehicles smashed their way into the station to rescue them, but officers have admitted they are powerless to protect civilians in southern Iraq from militias, and military patrols have been withdrawn from central Basra in the wake of the September clashes.

In the US-controlled districts of Iraq, some senior military and intelligence officials have been accused of giving tacit approval to the extra-judicial actions of counter-insurgency forces. [TORTURE]

Critics claim the situation echoes American collaboration with military regimes in Latin America and south-east Asia during the Cold War, particularly in Vietnam, where US-trained paramilitaries were used to kill [AND TORTURE] opponents of the South Vietnamese government.

All those with an active conscience may start puking right


"Spreading democracy?"

Not so much. Spreading Rummy-colored, Cheney-colored political sadism is more like it.


No Exit

It's not what Sartre had in mind, but it's enough to raise up my level of existential angst.

Bubble Boy. Mr. Torture. Preznit Moral AND Fiscal bankruptcy.

Starting a war based on lies to get back at his own Daddy for their Oedipal troubles. 100,000 Iraqis dead. Two thousand Americans dead; tens of thousands of gravely wounded, tens of thousands with PTSD. May as well count the three thousand at the World Trade Center, courtesy of Bubble Boy not heeding the "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the U.S." PDB.

Temper tantruming. Hitting the bottle. Having a hard time looking in the mirror.

No exit strategy even from a press conference.

What a maroon.

Friday, November 18, 2005

TorturZ "R" U.S.

Uh-oh. Pass the compazine. It's nausea time.


There was a charming piece on "Six Degrees of Rumsfeld's Anti-Geneva Conventions' Kinda Torture" tonight on ABC news. As is usual for the media whore media, they tried to downplay the deep disgustingness of it, but hey, everyone's owned by corporations these days, so who cares.

After reading Rummy's little list of Six Favorite Ways to Torture Others, I googled the Geneva Conventions:

Part II. General Protection of Prisoners of War

Art. 12. Prisoners of war are in the hands of the enemy Power, but not of the individuals or military units who have captured them. Irrespective of the individual responsibilities that may exist, the Detaining Power is responsible for the treatment given them. [YO, DUDES, THIS WOULD INCLUDE GIVING THEM OVER VIA RENDITIONS. DON'T BE TAKING VACATIONS IN EUROPE ANYTIME SOON.]

Prisoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power to a Power which is a party to the Convention and after the Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of such transferee Power to apply the Convention. When prisoners of war are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for the application of the Convention rests on the Power accepting them while they are in its custody. [DITTO. RUMMY, SEE ABOVE.]

Nevertheless, if that Power fails to carry out the provisions of the Convention in any important respect, the Power by whom the prisoners of war were transferred shall, upon being notified by the Protecting Power, take effective measures to correct the situation or shall request the return of the prisoners of war. Such requests must be complied with. [DITTO. DITTO, RUMMY.]

Art. 13. Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.

Art. 14. Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour.

Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men.

Prisoners of war shall retain the full civil capacity which they enjoyed at the time of their capture. The Detaining Power may not restrict the exercise, either within or without its own territory, of the rights such capacity confers except in so far as the captivity requires.

Art. 15. The Power detaining prisoners of war shall be bound to provide free of charge for their maintenance and for the medical attention required by their state of health.

Art. 16. Taking into consideration the provisions of the present Convention relating to rank and sex, and subject to any privileged treatment which may be accorded to them by reason of their state of health, age or professional qualifications, all prisoners of war shall be treated alike by the Detaining Power, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria."

Of course, here's the thing: after 9/11, everything CHANGED. So RUMMY and TOAD-EXPLODER BUSH can now do anything they want.

So they say.

After 9/11, everything changed, so that it then became NOT a BAD and STUPID thing THAT LED TO THE DEATHS OF THOUSANDS when President Toad-Exploder Bush and his merry men failed to do jack shit about that pesky PBD "BIN LADEN DETERMINED TO STRIKE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES."

No, afterward, they all determined that their own idiocy in paying no attention whatsoever to the Clinton administration's repeated warnings about Al Qaeda meant that they could now unleash their own personal-and then collective--sadistic urges.

Oho. And how would that come about?

How shall we torture? Let us count SIX Ways:

(with appropriate counterspin)

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

Translation: a punch in the face to show person we don't adhere to the quaint Genevas.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

Translation: a total massive blow to the stomach designed to injure internal organs, and may kill.

4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

Translation: A rose by any other name would smell less sweet. Despite the cute spinny name--which alone should alert one that this procedure totally sucks--the spin tries to portray this form of torture as being negligible in terms of horror. But--hoo ah--it's not! Causing pain--is--uh--TORTURE! Surprise, surprise?? Forcing humans to stay awake until they lose their minds is--uh--TORTURE!

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water. [This is being spun as benign. Guess what? It's not! It's TORTURE!]

6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

[Isn't that Orwellian name SO cute? Makes it sound so insignificant, like, snowboarding or skateboarding!! Woo hoo! Who could get upset about that? Oh, except, historically speaking, people who take other people prisoner and then bring them to the point of death, and then revive them, and then do that again, and again, wow, they're pretty much know as engaging in

T O R T U R E.

Yee haw, you sick evil black-heart neo-con draft-dodging blowhard sadistic perverts.

What part of "hurting others is wrong" did Mummy forget to teach you? Or did her words just bounce off your shiny, empty full-metal-jacket skulls?



Sex = Parenthood? Uh, NOT.

Linking having sex to necessarily having kids is a mistake, though one understands why this error is made. People may be perfectly competent at having sex, while being totally incompetent at having--and raising--children.

Government-forced maternity is abhorrent: in consultation with their doctors, and partners, where possible, need to decide the size of their families. No one else should intrude.


This issue directly concerns 50% of the human race, and indirectly, but substantially, concerns all the rest of us. Which makes it a batting-100% issue.

Government-forced maternity is just female slavery with a fake, stamped-on HappyFace.

Unwanted children lead to child abuse and neglect, and to crime.

Abortion, so far, has helped women postpone childbearing until they know they can take care of the child they will bear.

Let's hear it for people bearing "wanted children" for a change; let's put random parenthood back into the dark ages, where it belongs.

Forcing men and women to parent who are not up to the task is completely unfair to the child.

Children don't become magically wanted and loved because some church guilt trips their parents into giving birth to them, regardless of the parents' ability to parent. Childre who are unwanted and unloved suffer, sometimes in unimaginable ways.

It's no surprise that there was a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals in the United States well before there was a society for the prevention of cruelty to children.

Children are real. They have a right to be loved and wanted. We have a duty and a responsibility to protect post-born children, and to help those who are unfit for parenthood avoid parenting preferably by the use of birth control, by early termination otherwise.

"Child abuse is a symptom that parents are having difficulty coping with their situation.

Are victims of child abuse more likely to engage in criminality later in life?

According to a 1992 study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), maltreatment in childhood increases the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 53 percent, as an adult by 38 percent, and for a violent crime by 38 percent. Being abused or neglected in childhood increases the likelihood of arrest for females by 77 percent. A related 1995 NIJ report indicated that children who were sexually abuse were 28 times more likely than a control group of nonabused children to be arrested for prostitution as an adult."

One story here.


Hampton police have charged the father of a six-week old infant with child abuse.

Police say they were alerted on November 1 by medical personnel at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters about an infant boy in their care. The staff told authorities the infant was suffering from fractures to his skull, wrist and ribs.

Authorities claim their preliminary investigation revealed the infant was assaulted by his father on October 26. Ian Wesley Frey Sr., 22, of the 100 block of Tide Mill Lane, has been charged with one count of felony child abuse.



A Queens father was charged yesterday with killing his 7-year-old daughter, who tested positive for cocaine when she was born, spent time in foster care, and came to the attention of a city agency again two years ago because of suspicious injuries.

Catherine Harris, at her front door in Queens this week, says she voiced concerns about the treatment of a young neighbor, Sierra Roberts. Sierra Roberts lived with her father, Russell Roberts, on the second floor of this house on Hillmeyer Avenue in Arverne, Queens.

The girl, Sierra Roberts, died on Oct. 25. An autopsy revealed severe internal injuries, including a ruptured bowel and extensive internal lacerations, according to the authorities.

Prosecutors said her father, Russell Roberts, had physically abused her on Oct. 23 and 24, kneeing her in the abdomen on the first day and then bending her over the edge of a bed and beating her with a belt on the second day. Then, they said, knowing that Sierra was suffering, he waited before calling 911.

It was the second time in two weeks that a birth parent was charged in the death of a child who had been placed in foster care by the city and then returned to the home.

Last week, Tracina Vaughn was charged with reckless endangerment in Brooklyn because, prosecutors said, she had left her 16-month-old son, Dahquay Gillians, unsupervised in the bathtub, where he drowned.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Hey. What About Bob?

How was Bob Woodward, once a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist seduced by the Dark Side?

WaPo says:

The belated revelation that Woodward has been sitting on information about the Plame controversy reignited questions about his unique relationship with The Post while he writes books with unparalleled access to high-level officials, and about why Woodward denigrated the Fitzgerald probe in television and radio interviews while not divulging his own involvement in the matter.

"It just looks really bad," said Eric Boehlert, a Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of a forthcoming book on the administration and the press. "It looks like what people have been saying about Bob Woodward for the past five years, that he's become a stenographer for the Bush White House."

Said New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen: "Bob Woodward has gone wholly into access journalism."

Robert Zelnick, chairman of Boston University's journalism department, said: "It was incumbent upon a journalist, even one of Woodward's stature, to inform his editors. . . . Bob is justifiably an icon of our profession -- he has earned that many times over -- but in this case his judgment was erroneous."

Did the Bubble Boy cabal force his rendition to Gitmo, order Col. "Torture's as American as Apple Pie" Geoffrey Miller to have some innocent-yet-ultimately-blameworthy underling turn on an Official Culture of Torture industrial strength vacuum and suck out Bob's brains?

Then replace them with a pile of rotting smelts and raw sewage?

Or, was Bob Woodward . . . with the Dark Side all along?

A Night Light suggests that, if not precisely with the Dark Side, Woodward was not what he represented himself to be in "Woodward: Smoke and Mirrors From the Start."

I think he was with the Dark Side all along.

Ambassador Joseph Wilson believes Woodward should be investigated by the Washington Post.

Wilson pointed out that Woodward, repeatedly criticized the leak investigation without disclosing his own involvement.

"It certainly gives the appearance of a conflict of interest. He was taking an advocacy position when he was a party to it," Wilson said.

I'm also wondering if Bob Woodward was that notorious "no partisan gunslinger," referred to by Novak, Novak's second source, after Rove, for the story in which Novak outed in print CIA NOC Plame?

Black-heart neo-con Bushist fascists (say that phrase ten times!) are spinning that the Woodward admission somehow gets Scooter "What Kind of a Name is That For a Grown Man?" Libby off the hook.

No way.

I'm with Tran who asked:

"What difference does it make who was the first to out Plame to a reporter?

Sounds to me like they were shopping the story to everyone they could think of.

Can we spell c-o-n-s-p-i-r-a-c-y?"

Big Dick and his Merry Men, bound to suck up to allies and punish their enemies, unaccountably following Smokey Robinson's mama's advice:

"My Mama told ME--you'd better shop around !!"

Shop it around they did. To Woodward. Novak. Miller. Pincus. Cooper.

Anyone who'd buy what they were selling.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Told you so.

Them freedom-lovin' black-heart neo-cons seeking to overturn Islamist medievalism seek to subject all women of America to their mysogynist hellfire & brimstone medievalism, so that their government, not you, will regulate the size of your families.

They, not you, will decide if you're ready to bear a child. Here's the kicker: the size of your family will depend upon your fertility. Not planned parenthood, just random parenthood.

You ready for that?


By Bill Sammon
November 14, 2005

Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion" in a 1985 document obtained by The Washington Times.
"I personally believe very strongly" in this legal position, Mr. Alito wrote on his application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III.
The document, which is likely to inflame liberals who oppose Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, is among many that the White House will release today from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
In direct, unambiguous language, the young career lawyer who served as assistant to Solicitor General Rex E. Lee, demonstrated his conservative bona fides as he sought to become a political appointee in the Reagan administration.
"I am and always have been a conservative," he wrote in an attachment to the noncareer appointment form that he sent to the Presidential Personnel Office. "I am a lifelong registered Republican."
But his statements against abortion and affirmative action might cause him headaches from Democrats and liberals as he prepares for confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, scheduled for January.

It has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan's administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly," he wrote.
"I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

All together now: smoking gun! Smoking gun! Smoking gun!

(Hat tip to Inflatable Dartboard and and BarbinMD at Kos, who, correct me if I'm wrong, as of this posting, has not seen fit to elevate this story beyond his sidebar. // Oh, now it's on the left side, with a bunch of other recommended diaries. Too chickflick still, I guess)

Let's all get on that great big bus toward government-forced maternity, ladies! Gents who think freedom of reproduction is just some pussy chickflick issue, step aside! Gents who get it, come on down!

We can't care for the children we already have dept.

Here's a story from Houston, Texas.

Convicted child abuser Ivan Castaneda gets life in prison
Houston Chronicle

A jury decided this afternoon that Ivan Emmanuel Castaneda should be sentenced to life in prison for inflicting severe injuries on his infant daughter.

In contrast to his stoic appearance the previous day, when the jury convicted him of injury to a child, the 23-year-old Castaneda quietly wept at times today during testimony in the trial's punishment phase. . . Testifying today, Castaneda said he did not cause his daughter's massive injuries and denied ever abusing her. . .

On Thursday, Houston police Sgt. Randall Upton, who investigated the case, said the jury did the right thing in convicting Castaneda.

``They saw through the lies and deceit,'' he said, adding that Castaneda is, ``hands down, probably one of the most cold-hearted, emotionless people I've ever seen in my life.''

The child's mother, Donna Marie Norman, 20, remains in the Harris County Jail, awaiting trial on a charge of injury to a child by omission. Prosecutors say she was charged for failing to protect her daughter. Norman testified this week that she saw Castaneda squeeze the baby's abdomen and stick his finger down her throat on repeated occasions. The baby, then 6 months old, was clinging to life when she was brought to a hospital Feb. 2.

Police said the baby was injured ``head to toe,'' with fractures to her skull and other bones, as well as brain contusions and hemorrhaging, and injuries to her liver, lungs and kidneys. . .

Prosecutor Kari Allen told jurors Thursday that Castaneda's statement to the police was enough for him to be convicted, even without Norman's testimony.

She said Castaneda initially tried to blame the baby's injuries on an uncle who has Down syndrome, whom he falsely described as ``mentally ill.''

Castaneda then suggested that staff members at the first hospital to treat his daughter, Doctors Hospital Parkway, might be to blame, Allen said.

``This is someone who is desperate to point the blame somewhere else, because he's guilty,'' she told jurors. Though prosecutors couldn't explain how the injuries were inflicted, they said it was clear the child's parents didn't protect her.

``She had a daddy who, when she cried, stuck his finger down her throat,'' Allen said. ``He wanted to make her stop crying, so he did something to her tongue. (She) had a mother who wouldn't stand up to that man, wouldn't protect her,'' she said.

``She survived, despite all the odds. Despite everything her parents did to her, she survived. We need to give that child justice.'' . . . No plea deal for Norman has been discussed, prosecutors said, and they told jurors she should spend time in prison for failing to protect her daughter.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


"We do not torture," said Bubble Boy.

OK, ok, so that was sort of an exaggeration.

Turns out, we do.

According to Stephen Hadley.

He's the "turns out, we were wrong" about those Weapons of Mass Destruction guy.

So, turns out, we do torture.

And, we will torture.

If and when we feel like it.

Whenever and wherever we feel like it.

Got that?

We're above the law. We're above the Geneva Conventions. We can do anything we damn please.

What was that you were saying about hubris?

WASHINGTON (AFP) - In an important clarification of President George W. Bush's earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture, arguing the US administration was duty-bound to protect Americans from terrorist attack.

The comment, by US national security adviser Stephen Hadley, came amid heated national debate about whether the CIA and other US intelligence agencies should be authorized to use what is being referred to as "enhanced interrogation techniques" [TORTURE] to extract from terror suspects information that may help prevent future assaults.

The US Senate voted 90-9 early last month to attach an amendment authored by Republican Senator John McCain to a defense spending bill that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment of detainees in US custody. But the White House has threatened to veto the measure and has lobbied senators to have the language removed or modified to allow an exemption for the Central Intelligence Agency. [PERMISSION TO TORTURE].

During a trip to Panama earlier this month, Bush said that Americans "do not torture."

However, appearing on CNN's "Late Edition" program, Hadley elaborated on the policy, making clear the White House could envisage circumstances, in which the broad pledge not to torture might not apply [PERMISSION TO TORTURE].

"The president has said that we are going to do whatever we do in accordance with the law," the national security adviser said. "But... you see the dilemma. What happens if on September 7th of 2001, we had gotten one of the hijackers and based on information associated with that arrest, believed that within four days, there's going to be a devastating attack on the United States?"


He insisted that it was "a difficult dilemma to know what to do in that circumstance to both discharge our responsibility to protect the American people from terrorist attack and follow the president's guidance of staying within the confines of law [FORBIDDING TORTURE]."

The CIA is reported to be operating a network of covert prisons in eight countries around the world, including Afghanistan, Thailand and several former Soviet bloc nations in Eastern Europe, where terror suspects are questioned [TORTURED].

Republican Senator Kit Bond, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Newsweek magazine that "enhanced interrogation techniques" [TORTURE] had worked with at least one captured high-level Al-Qaeda operative, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, to thwart an unspecified plot.

But officials have been mum about interrogation techniques [TORTURE] used on other detainees, drawing sharp criticism from members of the Senate.

A compromise with senators was in the works, Hadley assured, saying the White House was holding consultations with them about the McCain amendment.

He offered no specifics about the administration's goals in these talks. But McCain, who appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" program, said White House negotiators led by Vice President Richard Cheney were pushing to safeguard the option of using the enhanced interrogation techniques [TORTURE] in order to get information from detainees in extraordinary circumstances.

The senator said he disagreed with that approach because he was worried about the damage to the image of the United States.

"I hold no brief for the terrorists," he said. "But it's not about them. It's about us. This battle we're in is about the things we stand for and believe in and practice. And that is an observance of human rights, no matter how terrible our adversaries may be."

Yuh, sounds good, but John's not in charge.

So, we'll be torturing, whenever we damn well please.


Bubble Boy: Shitfaced, for Sure

Video reference at Crooks & Liars.

Scroll down a bit to "Bush With Kilgore."

Listen as Bubble Boy slurs his words, watch his body language as he slings his arm around his missus, puts his weight on her, and makes Laura stagger.

He's shitfaced. For sure.

Shitfaced: A word defining a person who has had too much alcohol.

Sixty-eight percent think the country's going in the wrong direction.

That would be Bubble Boy's direction.

See also: hammered, sloshed, shit-faced, tanked, blitzed, bombed, wrecked, , drunkened, loose, tipsy, defcon 1, well-done, trashed, jagged up, Irish, canned, smashed, fucked-up, intoxicated, inebriated, annihilated, laced.

Headlines some toey White House aide discovers in blogtopia, prints the page out, and leaves under POTUS' shower soap: "CONFERENCE DEBACLE CONFIRMS: IRAQ WAR HURTS DEMOCRACY IN MIDDLE EAST."

Stupefied, excited, or muddled with alcoholic liquor: besotted, crapulent, crapulous, drunken, inebriate, intoxicated, sodden, tipsy.

"Turns out, we were wrong" about them pesky weapons of mass destruction, Stephen Hadley, Big Dick sycophant and fellow sociopathic black-heart neo-con finally admits.

Informal: cockeyed, stewed.

Then there's Bubble Boy's eminence grise in jeopardy, Cheney on Trial, as captured by Sidney Blumenthal. Big Dick's jeopardy perhaps to be followed by that of Bubble Boy himself.

Oh dear.

Slang: blind, bombed, boozed, boozy, crocked, high, lit (up), loaded, looped, pickled, pixilated, plastered, potted, smashed, soused, stinking, stinko, stoned, tight, zonked.

Idioms: drunk as a skunk, half-seas over, high as a kite, in one's cups, three sheets to the wind.

Painful to watch.

And this guy's got the nuclear codes? Puh-leeze!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Grow A Brain, Willya? (Or, Let's Hear It for Neuroplasticity!)

They said it couldn't be done.

But, recently, they said otherwise.

Meditation Associated With Increased Grey Matter In The Brain

Meditation is known to alter resting brain patterns, suggesting long lasting brain changes, but a new study by researchers from Yale, Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows meditation also is associated with increased cortical thickness.

The structural changes were found in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing, the researchers report in the November issue of NeuroReport.

Although the study included only 20 participants, all with extensive training in Buddhist Insight meditation, the results are significant, said Jeremy Gray, assistant professor of psychology at Yale and co-author of the study led by Sara Lazar, assistant in psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

"What is most fascinating to me is the suggestion that meditation practice can change anyone's grey matter," Gray said. "The study participants were people with jobs and families. They just meditated on average 40 minutes each day, you don't have to be a monk."

Magnetic resonance imaging showed that regular practice of meditation is associated with increased thickness in a subset of cortical regions related to sensory, auditory, visual and internal perception, such as heart rate or breathing. The researchers also found that regular meditation practice may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex.

Hmm. No kidding.

So there's hope for--change?

Here's another article on meditation altering brain structure. The salient point here, as above, is that something immaterial (directed thoughts) are causing measurable changes in material objects (brain structure and function).

Meditation Alters Brain Structure

Scans of Monks' Brains Show Meditation Alters Structure, Functioning -- SCIENCE JOURNAL By SHARON BEGLEY - November 5, 2004

All of the Dalai Lama's guests peered intently at the brain scan projected onto screens at either end of the room, but what different guests they were.

On one side sat five neuroscientists, united in their belief that physical processes in the brain can explain all the wonders of the mind, without appeal to anything spiritual or nonphysical.

Facing them sat dozens of Tibetan Buddhist monks in burgundy-and-saffron robes, convinced that one round-faced young man in their midst is the reincarnation of one of the Dalai Lama's late teachers, that another is the reincarnation of a 12th-century monk, and that the entity we call "mind" is not, as neuroscience says, just a manifestation of the brain.

It was not, in other words, your typical science meeting.

But although the Buddhists and scientists who met for five days last month in the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, had different views on the little matters of reincarnation and the relationship of mind to brain, they set them aside in the interest of a shared goal.

They had come together in the shadows of the Himalayas to discuss one of the hottest topics in brain science: neuroplasticity.

The term refers to the brain's recently discovered ability to change its structure and function, in particular by expanding or strengthening circuits that are used and by shrinking or weakening those that are rarely engaged. In its short history, the science of neuroplasticity has mostly documented brain changes that reflect physical experience and input from the outside world. In pianists who play many arpeggios, for instance, brain regions that control the index finger and middle finger become fused, apparently because when one finger hits a key in one of these fast-tempo movements, the other does so almost simultaneously, fooling the brain into thinking the two fingers are one. As a result of the fused brain regions, the pianist can no longer move those fingers independently of one another.

Lately, however, scientists have begun to wonder whether the brain can change in response to purely internal, mental signals. That's where the Buddhists come in. Their centuries-old tradition of meditation offers a real-life experiment in the power of those will-o'-the-wisps, thoughts, to alter the physical matter of the brain.

"Of all the concepts in modern neuroscience, it is neuroplasticity that has the greatest potential for meaningful interaction with Buddhism," says neuroscientist Richard Davidson of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The Dalai Lama agreed, and he encouraged monks to donate (temporarily) their brains to science.

The result was the scans that Prof. Davidson projected in Dharamsala. They compared brain activity in volunteers who were novice meditators to that of Buddhist monks who had spent more than 10,000 hours in meditation. The task was to practice "compassion" meditation, generating a feeling of loving kindness toward all beings.

"We tried to generate a mental state in which compassion permeates the whole mind with no other thoughts," says Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk at Shechen Monastery in Katmandu, Nepal, who holds a Ph.D. in genetics.

In a striking difference between novices and monks, the latter showed a dramatic increase in high-frequency brain activity called gamma waves during compassion meditation. Thought to be the signature of neuronal activity that knits together far-flung brain circuits, gamma waves underlie higher mental activity such as consciousness. The novice meditators "showed a slight increase in gamma activity, but most monks showed extremely large increases of a sort that has never been reported before in the neuroscience literature," says Prof. Davidson, suggesting that mental training can bring the brain to a greater level of consciousness.

Using the brain scan called functional magnetic resonance imaging, the scientists pinpointed regions that were active during compassion meditation. In almost every case, the enhanced activity was greater in the monks' brains than the novices'. Activity in the left prefrontal cortex (the seat of positive emotions such as happiness) swamped activity in the right prefrontal (site of negative emotions and anxiety), something never before seen from purely mental activity. A sprawling circuit that switches on at the sight of suffering also showed greater activity in the monks. So did regions responsible for planned movement, as if the monks' brains were itching to go to the aid of those in distress.

"It feels like a total readiness to act, to help," recalled Mr. Ricard.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. . . .

That opens up the tantalizing possibility that the brain, like the rest of the body, can be altered intentionally. Just as aerobics sculpt the muscles, so mental training sculpts the gray matter in ways scientists are only beginning to fathom.

Maybe we could get all the black-heart neo-cons down at Gitmo, force them at gunpoint to meditate on compassion, change their brain structure, dump the war and poverty thing, and return to peace and prosperity.

Maybe we can sculpt our own gray matter so as to cope even more successfully with the currently ongoing, malignant cadre of black-heart neo-con Bushist fascists?

Or maybe we can be inspired by hearing the Dalai Lama gently beating some sense into Pat Robertson and his ilk during his recent visit to Washington.

'For most of the 14,000 conference participants who watched in the lecture hall or from overflow rooms, the Dalai Lama's enthusiastic embrace of science and promotion of meditation were warmly received. His 10-day visit . . will continue today at MCI Center, where he is scheduled to give a public talk on "Global Peace Through Compassion."

The author of a new book on the convergence of Buddhism and science, the Dalai Lama has met with prominent scientists around the world for almost 20 years and has encouraged an increasingly fruitful collaboration between brain researchers and Tibetan monks.

Because of the controversy over his speech to the neuroscientists in Washington, his aides said he would keep to a prepared text, something quite unusual for him. But he often diverged from the text, despite saying with a smile that he was feeling unusual "stress."

His talk focused on how he developed his interest in science as a boy in Tibet, within a closed and isolated society, and on his view that morality and compassion are central to science. He pointed out in his prepared text, for instance, that although the atom bomb was great science, it created great moral problems.

"It is no longer adequate to adopt the view that our responsibility as a society is to simply further scientific knowledge and enhance technological power and that the choice of what to do with this knowledge and power should be left in the hands of the individual," he said.

"By invoking fundamental ethical principles, I am not advocating a fusion of religious ethics and scientific inquiry. Rather, I am speaking of what I call 'secular ethics' that embrace the key ethical principles, such as compassion, tolerance, a sense of caring, consideration of others, and the responsible use of knowledge and power -- principles that transcend the barriers between religious believers and nonbelievers, and followers of this religion or that religion," he said.

He acknowledged that some might wonder why a Buddhist monk is taking such an interest in science.

"What relation could there be between Buddhism, an ancient Indian philosophical and spiritual tradition, and modern science?" he said. His answer was that the scientific empirical approach and the Buddhist exploration of the mind and world have many similarities.

In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, however, the Dalai Lama is known as the reincarnation of a major force for compassion, and his strongest words yesterday were directed at religious people who might lack that trait.

"People who call themselves religious without basic human values like compassion, they are not really religious people," he told the audience, offering no names. "They are hypocrites."

The words were unusually critical for a speaker who likes to emphasize the positive and productive.'

And I hope and trust that when the Dalai Lama met George W. Bush, he gave Bush a real piece of his mind.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Yoo-Hoo. If It Ain't Organ Failure Plus Death, It Ain't Torture

Who could ask for anything more?

Bubble Boy assured us that--WE DON'T TORTURE!

That's because--WE CREATE REALITY!

And that's because--WE GET TO DEFINE TORTURE!

While a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, torture by any other name becomes--Not-Torture!

Really, it's just win-win-win for Bubble Boy and Big Dick and the whole pro-torture-is- as-American-as-apple-pie black-heart neo-con Bushist fascists.

As a spin, it sorta hangs together.

So long as one dislikes and ignores history as much as do Bubble Boy and his black-heart minions.

Because, the organ failure thing, plus the plus death thing--it's completely wrong. If your techniques are leading to organ failure, it's not NOT torture, it's just not torture. That would be uh, execution. (You'd think that culture of life (Sic) culture of torture-ist Bubble Boy with 150 executions under his belt would get that).

Torture is about causing pain WITHOUT actually killing someone. Causing pain and suffering so severe that it makes a person WISH THEY WERE DEAD.

The bamboo slivers under the fingernail thing.

The death by a thousand cuts thing.

The boiling in oil thing keeping the liquid just at the right temperature so the person doesn't actually die thing. But so as he stays suffering until he says just what you want thing.

The ol' Club Gitmo sleep deprivation thing, the freeze then sweat them thing, the tie their limbs into a painful pretzel and leave them there suffering thing (that one's for you, Rummy). The basic Bubble Boy/Big Dick notion of do stuff that will make them all wish they were dead thing.

And let's not forget "waterboarding." Such sweet spin, for such sorrow. Makes it sound like drowning a human being, reviving them briefly, and drowning them again and again and again is an exercise in mere youthfully effusive perkiness, does it not, like "snowboarding" and "skateboarding"?

Get real, black-heart neo-cons. You're not calling torture torture, but that doesn't mean that it isn't torture.

Because--it is. And you--Big Dick and Bubble Boy and your vast evil minions--all SO suck for trying to pervert American culture by trying to get away with dumping the Geneva conventions, torturing human beings in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan, setting up special lawless prisons overseas, and generally behaving in a deeply despicable way.

Torture is as torture does, dudes.

Lucky you guys don't believe in karma.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Time for the Truth: Waterboard Rove, Libby

Now here's a man after No Blood for Hubris' heart:


"Since the Bush Administration is advocating torture of individuals they consider a risk to the country's security in order to extract information, I think that they have a very good test case available. Apparently, "Scooter" Libby and Karl Rove have both endangered our national security and are trying to cover up who else might have been involved.

That means that there are a number of other individuals on the loose IN AMERICA who potentially conspired with them and continue to pose a threat to the country. Libby and Rove should be declared enemy combatants. If they are unwilling to talk, our fine CIA has ways of making them talk. I suggest the "water board" treatment as a starter. I'm no expert, though, so perhaps we should leave it to the chief torture advocate Dick Cheney to decide which form of torture would be appropriate.

For those of you who maintain that these two gentlemen are innocent until proven guilty, I should remind you that the "rules have changed since 9/11" and it is now better to torture some innocent people while we are going after the evil-doers. It is time to put our new torture program to good use. Be proud Americans!"

Thanks for your patriotic leadership, ex-pat Steve.

As our constant gentle readers know, No Blood for Hubris has long advocated the shipment to Gitmo of many notables in the black-heart neo-con Bushist administration.

Rove and Libby, however, are a special case.

Waterboarding on prime-time national TV would show that we're serious about finding out the truth: it would also no doubt serve as a deterrent to others who seek to harm our country, and put an end to the pussy anti-torturist claims that torture does not work.

Get at the truth, now! Why wait for a year or two, when we have the methods necessary? Write your congresspeople, your Senators; write to Bubble Boy! Write to Big Dick!

Torture Rove, Libby!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Fourth Estate: FUBAR'd

While we're noting down the names of the first wave of Bushist fascists to ship off to Gitmo after the revolution--I mean, after the 06 midterms return control of Congress to the Dems, let's save some space for the fourth estate.

As much as the Bushist fascists are directly responsible for the actual moral and fiscal ruination of America, they never would have been elected (sic) were it not for the conduct of the American press: vile, cowardly, snide. A press that made fun of Al Gore's thoughtful intelligence and failed to make fun of Bush's lack of intelligence. A press that, four years and many Bush failures later, made fun of John Kerry's thoughtful intelligence and failed to make fun of either George W. Bush's failures or his continuing thoughtless, reckless, feckless lack of intelligence.

I was struck, during the 2004 campaign, reading a front-page, above the fold article in the NY Times neatly penned to savage Kerry by framing him as a wimp; it did so by perseverating about Kerry's fondness for peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.


A Night Light's RJ Eskow neatly skewers the methods of such journalistic madness in his recent piece: Win A Dream Date With Alito!!

In a similar vein, that of holding the the press corps' feet to the fire, visit and take note of Pre$$titutes.

"We believe Pre$$titution is the First Cause of the worst presidency in U.S. history. The transformation of George W. Bush from a smarmy underachiever to a supposedly resolute, pious, compassionate leader is the result of years of methodical Pre$$titution. Journalists have abdicated their interrogative role and pandered to the administration, propagating rightwing talking points and pushing pro-Bush storylines. The cumulative effect of countless implicit and explicit pro-Bush stories and soundbites has been to create the illusion of legitimacy around an individual uniquely unqualified to be president. It is death by a thousand cuts in reverse, the creation of a myth in thousands of small increments. Our aim is to make that process transparent.

Pre$$titutes use sophisticated persuasion tactics to influence public perceptions and to shape the political landscape, from cable coverage of Bush's stage-managed speeches with captions that read "Bush Stands Firm," to the correction and re-framing of Bush's mangled English, to the use of 'negative' stories to push pro-Bush narratives. For example, saying Bush is "unwavering" in the face of sliding poll numbers reinforces the fabricated image of a steadfast, principled leader. Another favored press tactic is to create a self-reinforcing loop by making news and then commenting on it. During the 2004 presidential campaign, the cable networks gave round-the-clock coverage to the Swift Boat slime machine. Weeks into the coverage, these same outlets began asking why Kerry's attackers were getting so much traction in denigrating his military service.

By choosing what to cover, what not to cover, and how to cover it, Pre$$titutes influence ALL aspects of American politics. Touch-screen voting machines fixing elections? If the Pre$$titutes don’t report it, few Americans know or care. Abu Ghraib a permanent stain on America's moral standing? Not if the Pre$$titutes lose interest and move on to round-the-clock Michael Jackson or Natalee Holloway coverage. Our troops coming home in flag-draped coffins? Not if the Pre$$titutes won’t show it to you. Saddam Hussein unconnected to 9/11? Not if the Pre$$titutes let the administration conflate the two.

Bush's resilience in the face of scandals that would bring down any other government is primarily a factor of Pre$$titutes' willingness to give him a pass. Pushing deeply-ingrained fictional narratives about Bush and avoiding the derisive tone they reserve for Democrats like Howard Dean or Al Gore, Pre$$titutes provide cover for Bush's worst transgressions."

Last but not least, hat tip to Wealth Bondage, this piece by Robert Scheer re Judy Judy Judy journalism and the cost of Plamegate in the Nation: How Reporters Helped Lead Us to War.

Scheer concludes:

"The First Amendment protection is not a license for mischief on the part of journalists eager to do the government's bidding. To the contrary, it was conceived by the founders to prevent government from subverting the free press in an effort to misinform the public. Unfortunately, that is precisely what occurred here."

The Fourth Estate in America is totally FUBAR'd--and thanks to them, so are we.

Ship 'em to Gitmo.

Note: sporadic blogging may be a thing of the future. It is certainly a thing of the present. As one more No Blood for Hubris Mental Health Interlude, we have acquired a new puppy. She will be running us ragged until further notice.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Creating Unwanted Children: The Real Cost

We been blogging for a while a No Blood for Hubris about the immoral consequences of increasing the number of unwanted children in America. NBFH has pointed out that we cannot care for the children we already have, that increasing unwantedness leads to increased crime, and that it is the moral responsibility of parents, and of society, to insure that all children are wanted and well-cared for.

Take a look here.

New York Times, Nov. 3--The aunt and cousin of a 7-year-old boy [who died] in 2002 . . .were sentenced to prison yesterday for their roles in one of the state's most horrific child abuse cases."

The cousin had hurled Faheem Williams onto the floor so hard that Faheen died.

Ms. Murphy told prosecutors that she found Faheem, wrapped him in a blanket and left him on a bed for three days before loading his body into a purple storage bin. Several weeks later, she and her children, along with Faheem's twin brother, Raheem, and younger half-brother, Tyrone Hill, moved to a house in Newark, where she placed the bin in a dank area of the basement.

She locked Raheem, now 10, and Tyrone, now 7, in another room in the frigid basement, forcing them to sleep on a filthy mattress and use a bucket as a toilet, prosecutors said. In January 2003, Ms. Murphy's boyfriend found the boys and contacted police.

Faheem, Raheem and Tyrone had been living with Ms. Murphy after their mother, Melinda Williams, went to prison for endangering a child she had been baby-sitting. Ms. Williams was released several weeks before Faheem's death, but was living in New York and had left the children with Ms. Murphy, her sister.

Before sentencing Ms. Murphy, Judge Michael R. Casale said, "People treat pets better than how these kids were treated. Those are conditions no human being should have to suffer through."

Ms. Murphy, convicted of aggravated assault, criminal restraint and child endangerment, did not speak during the sentencing. She looked slightly annoyed at times as the judge spoke, and left without glancing at members of her family seated in the courtroom. . .

Before Mr. Murphy was sentenced on charges of reckless manslaughter, Faheem's mother, Ms. Williams, urged the judge to impose a tougher sentence on him. "He knew what he was doing. He wanted to do it. He feel he don't owe nobody, he don't have to listen to nobody," she said. "He don't have no heart."

But Judge Casale lashed back at Ms. Williams, saying that she was also responsible for her son's death, although she had not been charged with the crime.

"You are not blameless. You are the parent," Judge Casale said. "You could have been charged with murder. What they did was wrong, but you knew what was going on." Ms. Williams, visibly shaken, returned to her seat and said nothing else. . ."

A protective services "caseworker had failed to follow up on a report that the boys were being burned and beaten. The caseworker said that she had been overwhelmed with a workload of more than 100 cases. . .

Ms. Murphy had agreed to the plea deal to avoid having the surviving children testify, but said that Mr. Murphy, who had an extensive juvenile record, had deserved a tougher sentence. Ms. Murphy, she said, "got her due."

It's not enough that children be born, as the pro-birth/anti-post-born hysterics would have us believe. Children have a right to be wanted and well-cared-for.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


It's official. Rove leaked the Plame name, Libby confirmed it.

This according to leak recipient Matt Cooper.

ABC News — One of the reporters at the center of the investigation into the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer, says he first learned the agent's name from President Bush's top political advisor, Karl Rove.

Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper also said today in an interview with "Good Morning America," that the vice president's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, confirmed to him that Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative.

A grand jury charged Libby on Friday with five felonies alleging obstruction of justice, perjury to a grand jury and making false statements to FBI agents. If convicted, he could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and $1.25 million in fines. Libby was not charged with the crime that the grand jury was created to investigate — specifically, who leaked the name of Plame to reporters in 2003. Rove has not been charged.

Wilson, who went to Niger in 2002 to investigate whether or not the country was supplying Iraq with uranium to make weapons of mass destruction, opposed the war. He said he found no evidence of such an exchange in an op-ed in The New York Times. Wilson has argued that the Bush administration revealed his wife's identity in order to silence his opposition to the war.

"There is no question. I first learned about Valerie Plame working at the CIA from Karl Rove," Cooper said.

Libby has since claimed that he heard the Plame rumors from other reporters. Cooper disputed that version of events. "I don't remember it happening that way," he said. "I was taking notes at the time and I feel confident."

If a trial goes ahead, Cooper said he would name Rove as his source of the information.

"Before I spoke to Karl Rove I didn't know Mr. Wilson had a wife and that she had been involved in sending him to Africa."

So, now that we know, tell me again--why does Rove still have a job? A security clearance?